"I can't believe the nerve of her!" Buffy fumed as she closed the door forcefully behind them, shutting the rest of the world out for just a little while longer. "To say something like that about you after what she did…" She looked at Spike for his reaction.

He was surprisingly silent, pensive, his eyes averted as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

Frowning slightly, she walked over to him, standing between his legs and wrapping her arms gently around his neck, lowering her mouth to his and kissing him softly, searchingly, before pulling back and looking into his eyes with a piercing gaze. "What is it?" she asked gently.

He looked up at her, and she was startled by the intense, serious expression in his eyes. "She's not wrong about everything, Buffy. I did kill her wolf. Can't really blame her for being angry."

She raised her eyebrows, giving him a look, and he considered for a moment before shrugging slightly and saying, "The whole psycho-witch routine she pulled – twice – unleashing Captain Forehead on you – yeah, I'll bloody well blame her for that. But not for being angry." His solemn eyes belied the light tone of his words as he met her eyes again.

"If I were her – I'd hate me, too, pet."

Buffy frowned for a moment as she puzzled out that comment. Then she shook her head slightly. "It was self-defense," she said softly. "It wasn't like you had much of an option."

"S'pose not," he replied quietly, looking down again, thinking. Suddenly he looked up at her again, a hopeful question in those gorgeous blue eyes. "Did you really mean that, pet? What you said out there?"

"Which part?" she asked, smiling into his eyes as she leaned down to steal another quick kiss, unable to resist the appeal of his slightly parted lips. Drawing back she added, "Not that there was a part of it that I didn't mean – so – yes, I meant it." She paused for a moment before asking again, "But which part?"

A shy sort of expression on his face, he looked down again. "Part where you said you and I – are together, and – and anyone against it could bloody well sod off?"

Buffy's eyes softened with affection at the vulnerability in his voice, and she gently pulled him closer to her with her hand at the back of his neck, gazing into his eyes as she whispered slowly, emphatically, "Every. Word." Eagerly, she leaned down to kiss him again, trying to prove her words.

When they parted and she drew back to look at him again, she could see that although there was relief and joy in his eyes – he was not quite completely convinced. There was still a bit of uncertainty in his eyes.

Smiling secretively, she unwrapped her arms from around his neck and walked slowly toward the door, making a deliberate show of locking it before turning to face him again. Holding his gaze with a little smirk of seduction, she untied the belt of her robe and let the garment slide off her back onto the floor – revealing herself completely to him.

His eyes widened and he stared at her, unable to take his eyes off her as she moved slowly, sensuously toward him, and he slowly stood, taking a few slow steps toward her without even realizing he had moved. He realized after a moment that his mouth was open and he was dangerously close to actually drooling. He closed his mouth, swallowing hard, desire-darkened blue eyes drinking her in as he whispered in a low, hoarse voice, "Buffy…"

"Shhh," she whispered as she reached him, her hands sliding around his waist for a moment before moving back around to unfasten the button of his jeans.

He smiled; she had forgotten again. "But love," he murmured. "the room's…"

One hand rose to tangle in his hair, pulling him close to her and silencing him with another kiss, leaving him breathless in the wake of its intensity. He could not have spoken if he had wanted to. All words left him, as her free hand cupped the front of his jeans, giving him a gentle squeeze before moving to unzip his jeans.

He groaned with pleasure and anticipation at her touch. "God…Buffy, love…" he whispered as she slid the jeans down over his hips, her warm, smooth hands taking their time and moving over his body as she knelt before him, removing the jeans completely.

She paused for a moment, on her knees in front of him, and he looked down at her – and nearly lost it completely. She was staring up at him with a smoldering look of desire in her dark green eyes, her parted lips less than an inch from his swelling erection, her hot breath on his body making him groan with need for the touch she was, as of yet, still withholding.

He nearly whimpered as she slowly, gracefully rose to her feet and moved past him to the bed, lying down on her back, giving him a sultry little smile of invitation.

It was all the encouragement he needed. He approached the bed with a sense of awe that was almost reverence, his thirsty eyes drinking in the sight of her perfectly bronzed skin, bared completely to his sight. She was stunning, breath-taking perfection, a golden goddess of light – the angel of his dreams.

"Buffy," he whispered as he got onto the bed beside her, a question in his open, searching eyes. "What…what is this, love?"

She smiled reassuringly at him as she put her hand behind his head, her fingers idly playing through his hair, her nails lightly scraping across his scalp, sending the pleasurable sensation all through his body at her touch.

"Exactly," she whispered, with an amused little smile, and it took him a moment to realize what she was saying. "I love you, Spike. I love you so much."

He stared at her, hardly daring to believe. "Don't…" he whispered, hesitant, looking away from her for a moment. "Don't feel like you – like you have to…I mean…if it's too soon…"

"Spike," she interrupted him softly, a gentle reassurance in her eyes. "I…love…you." She kissed him again, then pulled away slightly to look into his eyes again. "Get that through your head, Baby. 'Cause it's not about to change anytime soon."

He stared at her, awed and overjoyed by her words. He still could not quite process what she was telling him. Those three precious words were ones he had never heard in his life before Dru – and had never thought to hear again when he had lost her.

And yet, here was this beautiful, incredible woman who had swept back into his life in a fury and turned everything on its head, laying herself out before him, giving him the gift of not only her priceless words, but of her very self.

Echoing his thoughts, Buffy whispered softly, "I'm yours, Spike. All yours." The open, trusting look in her eyes, the low, throaty purr of her voice, quickened his need for her, and he found himself leaning down over her to claim his mouth with his kiss, his hands ghosting up and down her body in the lightest of touches.

"Buffy," he murmured, pulling back for a moment to look her in the eye. "Buffy, I'm yours too, love. I love you so much…"

She gasped at the sensation as his cool lips moved down the plane of her throat, his mouth stopping over her throbbing pulse, gently worrying the spot with kisses and gentle nips at the sensitive flesh.

"Spike…Oh -- Spike!" she moaned softly, as his teeth closed slightly harder over her neck, sending a delicious little thrill of pleasure and pain through her. Her hands gently but urgently tugged him closer to her, onto her, wanting to feel him as near to her as possible, surrounding her, inside her.

"Spike – I need – need you," she whispered, as his lips moved down her throat toward her shoulder, and she was surprised by the sense of loss she felt at the movement. Her eyes suddenly shot open in shock, as she realized what it was that she was craving – though it was something she had never felt before.

Only partially understanding her words, Spike complied, lowering himself slowly down into her, gasping as her hot center surrounded him, her hands running down his back to rest on his rear, pulling him deeper into her. "God – Buffy!" he gasped. "So – hot!"

"Spike – I need you!" she gasped, desperate with a need she did not fully understand. "I need you – inside me!"

He frowned slightly. "Kind of – thought I was, love," he gasped as her muscles clenched around him, drawing him yet deeper in and heightening the intensity of his pleasure.

Wordlessly she placed her hand behind his head and pulled him down so that his mouth was to her throat. "I want – yours, Spike – I want you to…" she gasped, her words swallowed up in a little cry of pleasure as he thrust slowly into her.

He stopped for a moment, pulling back to meet her eyes with a shock as he realized exactly what it was she was asking for. He stared down at her, her request stunningly powerful for him. That she would offer him that much trust, as to place her life in his hands; and that much love, as to offer him her very life's blood!

It was a revelation that filled him with elation, his heart singing with happiness more complete than he had felt in years.

But -- he had to know that she was sure.

"Buffy," he whispered her name, searching her shining emerald eyes. "Buffy, love -- is this what you want? You're sure? I -- I don't want to hurt you, and if you're at all -- scared, or unsure, it might..."

There was a serenity mingled with seduction in her voice as she smiled wickedly up at him. "Why would I be scared?" she asked teasingly, her hands trailing down his sides to rest on his buttocks again. "Looks like I've got you where I want you," she whispered with a little smirk at her own double entendre, just before she simultaneously pulled him deeper inside her and clenched her inner muscles tightly around his swollen member.

Whatever cautions he had been about to express fled his mind, along with the capacity for any coherent speech whatsoever, as a low moan escaped his lips, and his hands lowered instinctively to clutch her to him, as he thrust into her in response to her actions, moving in rhythmic unison with her motions.

"Spike," she whimpered again after a moment. "Please – I need you to – I need you – please."

Her nearly incoherent plea nearly broke down the rest of his resistance, shattering his reservations with the knowledge that she did want this – craved it – needed it – as much as he did. He lowered his lips to her throat again, teasing her with kisses when she longed for so much more.

"Please, please," she chanted in a breathless whisper of desperate anticipation, her hands rising to tangle in his hair as his mouth continued its all-too-gentle ministrations, their bodies still locked together in the primal dance. Why was he waiting? She wondered almost franctically.

He raised his head slightly, and murmured in a low husky tone that made her melt inside, almost as if he had read her thoughts, "Don't want to scare you, love. Don't want to hurt you," before resuming his gentle kisses, caressing over her throat.

"You won't," she gasped out, breathless with the pleasure he was giving her, yet yearning for more. "I want you to – I – I trust you, Spike!"

Those beautiful words were exactly what he needed to hear at that moment, heightening his pleasure as he changed from his human guise to his vampiric features, still kissing her tenderly along the line from her throat to her shoulder, his hands roving over her body and his hips thrusting slowly against hers.

She moaned softly at the strange sensation of his shifting features pressed against her neck, the odd little brush across her highly sensitized skin sending a little tickle from the spot whre he touched her, all through her body, straight to her very core. He could feel the soft fluttering of the muscles of her hot channel pulsing around him, and knew that he had already brought her very close.

He was close too, and knew that the power, the absolute connection, of what he was about to do, would take them both over the edge.

Her hand was trembling as it stroked through his hair, sliding down to caress the now-rough skin of his cheek. Instinctively he turned his face away as he continued to kiss her. It was simply a fact of who he was, this terrifying visage that would have sent a normal girl fleeing for her very life – and would certainly not be attractive to the chosen killer of his kind.

He did not feel ashamed of it exactly, it was simply who he was – he just did not want to risk spoiling the moment for her with a reminder of what he was.

But after the events of the night before, Buffy was far more in tune with Spike's emotions and insecurities than she had been before, and felt the way he subtlely avoided her gentle touch against the rough ridges of his face. She tried again – and he discreetly dodged her again. She raised the hand that had been resting at the base of his spine, holding him to her as the continued to move together, and used both hands to raise his head from her neck to meet her eyes.

He froze, staring into her eyes, his own full of so much emotion that Buffy thought her heart would burst. She had never known that the wild, feral eyes of a vampire could be so open and expressive. The ceaseless motion of the dance in which they were caught up did cease, then, for a moment, as he waited breathlessly, with no idea what her reaction would be to seeing him like this.

Yes, she had seen this face before – when locked in combat, both with and against her – but never in her arms, never as the face of her lover. As her sparkling green eyes widened, taking in every line, every nuance of his face, he braced himself for the moment when the Slayer would realize what she had invited into her bed and cast him out.

But then, the Slayer's fingers on his face stroked lightly down his cheek in a tender caress, and her face fell into a soft smile of affection, as she whispered three words which completely stunned and amazed him, her voice soft with awe and wonder.

"You're so beautiful."

She stared at him unabashedly, drinking in the features both familiar and strange, of the man she had given her heart to, before drawing his face up gently to hers and slowly kissing his lips, her tongue pressing for entrance, then playing carefully over the deadly fangs inside, as they naturally fell into the rhythm of their union again, slowly building the intensity up again between them.

When they finally broke the kiss so that Buffy could breathe, her eyes were wild with passion, driven to the edge of ecstasy. She met his eyes with a passionate intensity, and gasped out, "I love you, Spike! I love you!"

What she was trying to say was clear in her eyes. She loved him -- all of him. Everything that he was, she not only accepted but cherished and wanted, desperately.

She let out a little cry as his movement inside her grew deeper, stronger, in response to her tender words, and she threw her head back, gasping out, "Spike – Spike -- now!"

He needed no further reassurance; he was already intoxicated by the feel, the sight, the smell of her – and longed to taste her as well. Razor sharp fangs slid into her flesh, but she felt no pain – only a heady rush of pleasure as he began to draw the sweet essence of her life from her veins. The feeling of connection, of intimacy beyond anything she had ever experienced, was so intense and powerful that neither of them could hold back any longer.

The explosion hit them both at once, and they tumbled over the edge together, consumed in the throes of ecstasy. Spent, they collapsed together on the bed, still locked in a lover's embrace, trying to catch their breath and recover a bit from the powerful experience they had just shared.

Buffy watched with fascination as fierce shimmering golden eyes faded to sparkling sapphire blue before her eyes. Her fingers idly played about the lines of his lips, his face, as he stared down at her, wondering at her thoughts.

She shook her head slightly, and whispered, "I just can't decide," as she finally withdrew her hand and laid her head back on the pillow wearily.

He gave her a puzzled look. "Can't decide what, love?" he asked, moving carefully off her, onto his side beside her, his eyes searching hers.

She rolled over onto her side to face him, smiling into his eyes as she kissed him again briefly. When she drew back she whispered, "Which way you're more gorgeous."

His lips parted slightly in incredulous wonder; he was absolutely speechless at her words.

She pouted teasingly, "I'm jealous. I've only got one pretty face. You're got two."

He recovered enough to smirk back at her, his affection for her shining in his eyes. "Good thing yours is bloody breathtaking then," he pointed out. "If you're trying to keep up with the hotness that is me!" He rolled over on his back, his hands joined behind his head in an exagerratedly cocky pose.

Buffy's eyes narrowed and she smirked back at him. "Get back over here, hotness," she growled playfully, leaning down over him to kiss him again.

Buffy could not remember the last time she had felt so contented, as her incredibly sexy, talented boyfriend put his arms around her again. Faith was defeated, her minions scattered, and Sunnydale was as safe as the Hellmouth ever got. Willow and Giles would soon be on their way to England to get the help they needed, and Xander would be leaving for work in a little while.

That left them there with a good six hours to themselves before sunset, when they would head for LA together to pick up Dawn.

Their problems were not all resolved – nowhere near it yet. But they knew that they could face the rest of what was to come – now that they would not be facing it alone. Each had found a love they had thought they would never have again, and that love would get them through the trials of the present and the future. Each felt that at long last, they had reached the end of a terrifying, painful journey.

In each other's arms – they had come home.